Collector snaps up historic Falkirk tables for £24K

Callendar House tables go at auction.
Callendar House tables go at auction.
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Two 200-year-old tables from Falkirk’s Callendar House have sold in London for nearly £24,000.

The George IV giltwood and rosewood pier tables were expected to reach between £12,000 and £18,000 at the fine English furniture auction at Bonhams last Wednesday.

The tables sold at auction in London last week

The tables sold at auction in London last week

But bidding was so fierce that the pair, which were made in the 1820s and owned by wealthy businessman William Forbes, went for almost double their lowest pre-sale estimate.

A spokesperson for auctioneers Bonhams said: “Forbes is known to have favoured the newest fashions and purchased the best furniture from London and Edinburgh, although he had a reputation for being careful with money.”

The identical tables used to be housed at Callendar House until they were sold by the Forbes family in 1963.

Guy Savillof Bonhams told The Falkirk Herald: “The pair of large giltwood and rosewood pier tables are impressive in both their scale and their complex carved decoration, which certainly reflects the wealth and opulent taste of William Forbes.

“The tables remained in-situ until the Callendar House dispersal sale in 1963.

‘‘We identified them in the Dowells sale catalogue and were able to find images of them in-situ in the house taken in the 1920s with the assistance of Falkirk Community Trust.

“The provenance of the tables certainly makes them more desirable and provenance is something that increasingly interests buyers today.

“The fact that they have survived in remarkably good condition with their original marble and gilding is probably down to them being moved relatively little over their lifetime.

“Although large in scale for many domestic interiors, the tables still generated much interest from a variety of both trade and private buyers.”

The tables, which are five feet wide and three feet high, were bought for £23,750 by a British collector.